Get Involved

Six kinds of stakeholder groups offer you the ability to participate in this initiative.

The TDE Initiative involves stakeholder groups at every step. Whether you are a transit system user of any ability, a transportation planner, or a paratransit operator, we need everyone engaged in the design of accessible mobility applications and the data that support those applications. There are six distinct ways to participate, and to be part of this community of practice you may participate in any of the special interest subgroups. By signing up you are consenting to receiving email from us.

Mapping my community for accessibility

You have the opportunity to form community groups to work together to collect local data for accessibility. We will offer guidance through meet-ups, tutorials, and digital tools to coordinate data collection.

Contributing to data standards for accessibility and equity 

The TDEI will run two special interest data standards groups to discuss, enhance, and develop standards releases. The first group will focus on GTFS-Pathways and OpenSidewalks. The second will focus on accessible travel services in GTFS-Flex. All three standards are currently under provisional draft release. 

For GFTS-Pathways, the first group will hold sessions and coordinate work with MobilityData.org. For OpenSidewalks, it will will continue the coordination of releases of the OpenSidewalks data standard, API, and tools.

Examples of discussion topics: How should data express cross-slope in different environments? What essential above-ground attributes of the path are currently not expressed in GTFS-Pathways and how can these be incorporated into the standard?

For GTFS-flex, the second group will hold sessions to discuss accessibility to on-demand transportation services. Sessions will be coordinated with MobilityData.org.

Examples of discussion topics: How should eligibility be expressed on the part of transit agencies (rather than personal eligibility on the travelers’ side)? How should transit providers manage flexible route changes? How can maintenance be considered when the standard is developed?

Time commitment: 60 minutes every other week.

Nothing for us without us: Participatory design, testing, evaluation, and validation groups 

Individuals and organizations in this group will subscribe to announcements (approximately monthly) advertising opportunities for co-design sessions, testing, evaluation, and validation of the applied work conducted by our team.

We specifically hope to engage persons with disabilities, caregivers, attendants, therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, advocacy groups, and transit and paratransit planners.

Time commitment: None formally. The newsletter will advertise opportunities for both ongoing and one-time opportunities for engagement with our team for check-ins, co-design sessions, and/or formal testing and validation.

Equity and justice special interest group  

We recognize that travel disadvantage is not exclusive to persons with disabilities and that marginalization is a complex, entangled, intersectional matrix. We invite people to speak for their own experience and to help us in understanding what constitutes fair, adequate, and inclusive stewardship of active transportation. We hope this committee will join us in an effort to build new communities with mutual respect and awareness of our interdependencies.

The equity and justice special interest group will provide assistance to the project as a whole in maintaining our commitment to equity. The assistance will be customized to the specific challenges and opportunities we face in bringing accessible, safe, and equitable data practices to Washington, Oregon, and Maryland.

Time commitment: Response to emails once a month, a 120-minute meeting every two months

Ethical data science special interest group

At its core, this project is about data science. We will infer, collect, store, transform, visualize, and map data, and will ultimately affect how data are used downstream in everyday new mobility applications. In this data-driven world, we know that these data will be used to tell stories and hope that they will effect change in transportation and mobility for all.  We therefore must provide data responsibly and consider data biases that we may inadvertently perpetuate or introduce. The goal of the ethical data science special interest group is to provide assistance to the data standards teams in maintaining our commitment to fairness in data science.

Time commitment: Response to emails once a month, a 120-minute meeting every two months